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“The Fat Controller/Sir Topham Hatt chose me because I'm as red as a rocket and twice as grand!”

Thomas and the Firework Display is the eleventh episode of the eighth season.


Tonight is the Fat Controller's harvest fireworks display and the Fat Controller decided to give James the job of collecting the fireworks from the depot. However, Thomas is upset because he wanted that job, but James tells him that he was chosen because he is as red as a rocket and twice as grand.

At the Coaling Plant, Thomas is furious about James' job and angrily shunts some trucks around. James arrives at the depot to collect the fireworks and chuffed off to Knapford Station. But along the way, James broke down and his driver went to phone for help.

Thomas arrives at Knapford Station where Gordon is letting off people from all over the island to see the fireworks and seeing the children happy made Thomas happy. The Fat Controller gave Thomas the news that James had broken down and that Thomas must push him to the station or the fireworks will be cancelled. Realising that it would make the children sad, Thomas puffs off to find James.

Thomas finds James and calls him busted boiler and teases him that he does not look really useful now, which made James cross.Thomas tells James that he must look out for things ahead for him as he could not see ahead, but James was still cross. However, James forgave Thomas after hearing that the children would be upset if the fireworks did not get to Knapford and they started on their way.

Back at Knapford Station, the Fat Controller sees that it is late and almost the children's bedtime, so he decided to cancel the display. While heading towards Knapford, James is confused that a signal they had reached was red. Thomas thinks a passenger train is coming and James realised that Gordon is taking the children home, so they blew their whistles, but no one could hear them.

As Gordon was almost ready to leave, Thomas had an idea to let his driver set off a firework and Gordon and the Fat Controller see it realising it is a signal from Thomas and James and that the fireworks display is on again. The signal then turned green and Thomas and James arrived at the station.

At Tidmouth Sheds, Thomas and James watched the fireworks. James tells Thomas that they are both Really Useful Engines and Thomas said that they are most useful when they work together.





  • When the driver lights the rocket, there is a thin wire used to pull the rocket.
  • In all of the night shots, light can be seen coming from the back of Thomas' headlight.
  • Because stock footage is used, Annie and Clarabel appear in their old liveries.


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